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Thailand revokes visas for New Zealand tourists arrested for attacking police officer

Simon Calder’s Travel

Authorities in Thailand arrested two New Zealand tourists and revoked their visas after they attacked a police officer.

Immigration authorities banned brothers Hamish Day, 36, and Oscar Day, 38, from ever returning to Thailand. Thai news outlet Bangkok Post reported that the brothers have been charged with offences including robbery, causing physical harm to an on-duty officer, attempted bribery, and driving a motorcycle without a licence.

Police said traffic officer Somsak Noo-iat on Saturday spotted the men speeding on their motorbikes. They tried to speed away after Mr Somsak tried to stop them.

They went on to offer a bribe to the officer, who tried to film the two men on his phone. After this, the brothers allegedly wrestled Mr Somsak to the ground and took his gun.

The weapon was fired, but nobody was shot. The police chief also said that one of the brothers is a mixed martial arts fighter.

Video of the incident has gone viral online, where onlookers can be heard shouting at them to stop. Both brothers have denied all charges and the police said on Monday they would ask the court for permission to deny their release on bail.

Mr Somsak’s supervisor and Chalong police chief Ekkarat Plaiduang said Mr Somsak was injured but recovering well.

Phuket governor, Sophon Suwannarat, spoke at a press conference on Monday, condemning the brothers’ behaviour as “intolerable”.

“The behaviour was improper and illegal,“ Mr Sophon said, and added that ”serious action“ would be taken to “protect the tourism atmosphere of Phuket”.

The brothers’ father, Laurence Day, told New Zealand Herald: “The family is distraught. We’re praying for a good outcome. Who would have ever expected this? Just a couple of kids on a tourist trip.”

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